Conway and Overly explain timing of announcement and how they'll fund top priorities

05/06/2014 06:10 PM

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway and Rep. Sannie Overly of Paris offered a familiar list of priorities — education, jobs and infrastructure — and pledged to pay for it with efficiencies, strategic cuts and a push for casino gambling.

The two officially announced their slate, the first Democratic ticket to form, for the 2015 open governors’ seat Tuesday morning after word of the impending announcement was confirmed on Monday.

Conway and Overly are entering the race more than 380 days before the Democratic primary, and they promised to do their best to not to step on any toes of 2014 candidates. They haven’t hired any staff and will wait until this summer to launch a kick-off event.

But Conway said he wanted to have enough time to “build an organization” before next year.

But for Democrats, a lot is at stake this year. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, and state House Democrats are trying to defend their slimmest majority in decades.

When asked how Conway plans to fund his top priority of increasing funding for early childhood education, he touted his record of doing more with less and offered up his pitch for expanding gambling in the state.

It was Overly, meanwhile, who told legislative investigators that former Democratic Rep. John Arnold inappropriately touched her leg, according to court filings as first reported “by WFPL”: http://wfpl.org/post/court-filing-former-kentucky-rep-john-arnold-allegedly-inappropriately-touched-colleague . That account led officials to take seriously complaints brought by legislative staffers.

Overly, though, has declined to talk about the saga, citing the ongoing civil lawsuits brought by the staff members against Arnold and the legislative branch. Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador asked Overly if Democrats, and the ticket, are vulnerable to attacks from Republicans about the handling of Arnold.

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